My Thoughts On…Shadowhunters TV Show | Episode 1: The Mortal Cup

Shadowhunters. The time has finally come! After months upon months of waiting for its release, the first episode of the Shadowhunters TV show, based off of the bestselling The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, came out on Netflix—and naturally I had to watch it! I’ve seen tons of posts lately from other bloggers sharing their thoughts on the first and/or second episode, so I decided, why not? I have a lot of thoughts to share on it, so let’s get started.

Thoughts on Shadowhunters

Let’s start with the best and good parts, shall we?

Castings and Characters

  • Simon WAS PERFECT. I must admit, I wasn’t completely sold on Alberto Rosende (the actor) at first, but after seeing him in the first episode, I gotta say, he’s great. Fingers crossed that the great acting will continue!
  • Simon and Clary’s friendship was sweet! Simon and Clary got along really well, and I really liked how the two actors pulled off their friendship.


  • Alec‘s portrayal by Alexander (CORRECTION: Matthew) Daddario was really great. Mostly it’s just that Alec was basically everything I imagined him to be like! Protective of Jace and Isabelle, hostile to Clary. Can’t wait to see more of him as the show continues.
  • As for Isabelle (Emeraude Toubia), I have to admit that I was expecting her to be more, I don’t know, hostile and more angry. I feel like the show tamed her down a bit more in comparison with the books. I really liked the actress who played her, though! And although some of her lines were terrible, I liked her parts well enough. (She could still kick butt, that’s for sure.)

  • Alan Van Sprang shone through as Valentine! He wasn’t exactly how I pictured him, but he turned out to be pretty good.
  • Jocelyn (Maxim Roy), too, was alright. I was kind of? skeptical of both her and Valentine’s casting, but she turned out to be alright as well. (But why on earth did she give Clary a stele??)


  • The Pandemonium scenes were really good! Not horrible, at least. Especially the part where Jace, Alec and Isabelle was hunting down the demon (though what was the use of Isabelle’s wig when she takes it off anyway?)
  • To be honest I’m not quite sure how I feel yet about the inclusion of the mundane blood thing going on, but for now I’m just gonna place it with the good parts of the episode, because, well, it wasn’t necessarily a bad addition. Obviously there has to be some changes where the plot’s concerned to not make it identical to the book.
  • Having Luke as a policeman was an interesting idea! I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, when I first heard of it, but now it doesn’t seem to be that bad.
  • I feel like there’s more I have to say about the storyline and everything, but… my memory kind of sucks right now?

Where things became ‘meh’

  • So.. Maureen is friends with Simon and Clary, and is the same age as them now? Not sure how I feel about this either. I suppose it’s not exactly a bad thing, but it has me questioning as to where it will lead.
  • The special effects. More specifically, the portal. I’ve been seeing talk about how the show’s on a low budget and everything, but really? Was that the best they could do? Again, it wasn’t BAD persay, but it could’ve been better.
  • Magnus Bane… what even happened? I’m not even sure how to explain this one. His character just seemed so.. wrong somehow? Maybe? I don’t know. (I seem to be repeating ‘I don’t know’ really often, but oh well…)
  • The institute is now full of people and really modernized… not sure how I feel about this?? 

Reasons for angry stomping and lots of frowns:

  • DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE DIALOGUE. Gah. Sometimes I was able to ignore it, but there were several times where the dialogue became cheesy and cliché as hell. I cringe just thinking about some of them.. PLEASE MAKE THIS BETTER, I BEG YOU. (Don’t ask to whom I’m begging… I don’t know, maybe the gods of TV shows?? #Totallymakessense)
  • The acting. NOT ALL of the acting, mind you. Most specifically I mean the delivery of lines from Dom Sherwood and occasionally other actors. But mostly Dominic, who plays Jace. I swear, the way he says his lines makes me cringe. Don’t ask why, because I can’t really pinpoint the reason… but let’s just say right now I can’t seem to fully accept him as Jace. I really hope he improves as the show goes on…
  • No chemistry between Kat and Dom. Dominic looked like he’s in pain half the time anyway and had terrible lines, but still. None. Nada. If there was any, I was oblivious to it. Which is quite a shame! There was a lot of places where the movie went wrong, but on-screen chemistry wise, Movie-Clary (Lily Collins) and Movie-Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) were great. Or at least, pretty decent. So it was kind of sad to see that the show lacked this. Having said that, I’m not too sad seeing how this is only the first episode. BUT STILL.
  • What happened to the weapons?!! Those seraph blades look like cheap plastic lightsabers.. and just… no. What happened to the naming and all of that? Grrrr.

Phew…I think that’s mostly it! At least, that’s all that currently pops into my brain. The show has been getting some mixed opinions as far as I’ve seen, but to me, it wasn’t horrible. It didn’t follow the book page-for-page, but it did keep some of the main events and key details, and it still was entertaining despite the meh and the bad parts—so I will definitely be continuing the series! Plus, it’s just the first episode, right? Plenty of room for improvement and second chances.

Do let me know what YOUR thoughts on the show are! I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to continue to write a post for each episode… maybe I’ll do one post at the end of each month with comments on each of the episodes released during that month? Whatever the case is, right now, let me know whatever thoughts you may have about the first (and/or second) episode, or just this show in general. Discussion is always fun! 😀

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! ❤

Until the Next Meal, Analee

13 thoughts on “My Thoughts On…Shadowhunters TV Show | Episode 1: The Mortal Cup

  1. I really liked the first episode! I didn’t notice the terrible acting, but I think I’ll be looking out for it in the next episode. I agree about the lack of chemistry and the special effects. The weapons made me so mad!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Simon and Alec were perfect, weren’t they! I feel Valentine was also a good actor tho Clary’s mom and Clary were in my opinion terrible 😦 the acting was mediocre. I agree that Jace looks like he’s in pain and his lines are the worse from the whole show. I hope the acting gets better and the plot doesn’t get too much because I felt during the pilot and first episode too many things happened at the same time.


  3. I loved Valentine and Simon! Jocelyn was very meh for me. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE NAMING BLADES THING??!! The special effects were so cheesy. I thought runes were drawn on to skin via stele but here they just slide the stele over their skin so…?! Dom Sherwood was so irritating to watch – he has such cheesy lines and he says them so slowly. Izzy is so happy in this but she’s supposed to be surly and rude.
    I have mixed feelings about this – really hoping it’ll get better!


  4. Great review! I agree on a lot of points! I can actually explain why Izzy is less hostile and angry in this version of the story. This is a spoiler for people who haven’t read the book, but in the show Izzy never found out about her dad cheating and therefore she doesn’t have such a cynic view on life and is generally nicer.
    I don’t know if you have watched the second episode as well, but it gets even worst with Magnus in that one and he doesn’t seem like the beloved book character at all. And there were still no Malec encounters and that kind of makes me sad …
    (Also, sorry but I had to say it hahaha, his name is Matthew Daddario. Alexandra is his sister, so maybe you got that mixed up.)


  5. Oh god that acting, and those lines, they were so bad I spent half my time cringing at the screen from 2nd hand embarassement. The worst part is Dom is a halfway decent actor, but here he’s just terrible. As for the lines, the entire script was weird, in my opinion, I mean who says “I hate to make you suffer like this”? (That line is from the second episode but you get the point)


  6. Yes to everything, especially Simon who was the actual star of the episode! OMG the dialogue was so bad. The best example of this has to be the scene where Clary first bumps into Jace and he’s literally like “HI YOU HAVE THE SIGHT!!!”


  7. Simon and Alec were amazing! But i totally agree with the lack of chemistry between Jace and Clary. Frankly, they were my least favourite casting choices of the lot! As for what you said about Magnus, I kind of agree, but he wasn’t in for long so I guess the next few episodes will help give us a better insight 🙂


  8. I watched episode 1 and I definitely had similar thoughts: a few things just didn’t quite make sense. I do think that the movie and episode 1 both had their different positives and negatives. Great post! 🙂


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